The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations says if a more normal weather pattern is seen this year, global wheat production could reach 698 MMT, up 5.4% from last year. It projects 2013 coarse grain production at a new record of 1.266 billion metric tons, up 9.3% from the previous high in 2011.
FAO sees 2013 corn production of about 960 MMT, up 10% from 2012. "The bulk of the increase is expected in the United States, the world's largest producer, where maize plantings are forecast to reach their highest level since 1936. Recovery from drought in the major CIS-producing countries should also contribute significantly to the record global production," it states.
Despite the expected production increases, world cereal utilization is expected to stagnate in 2012-13, constrained by rising grain prices and faltering ethanol demand, says FAO. Global cereal utilization is now forecast to be 2.332 billion metric tons. World cereal stocks by the close of seasons ending in 2013 are forecast at 505 MMT, up 1% from the previous forecast. "A sharp fall in world cereal trade is expected in 2012-13, involving all major cereals. At 304.4 MMT, it would be almost 1 MMT larger than forecast last month, but still representing a decline of about 4% from 2011-12," it states.
Additionally, FAO's Food Price Index rose for the second month running in April, climbing two points from March. April's increase was driven almost exclusively by a sharp rise in dairy prices. Prices of most other food commodities fell. At 215.5 points the April Food Price Index was also 1% higher than in April 2012. It currently stands 9% below its peak recorded in February 2011.